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MLB Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels: Dane De La Rosa Could Play in Pivotal Role

Dane De La Rosa

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season was nothing short of a rocky year for the Los Angeles Angels‘ bullpen as they ranked in the bottom half of the majors in many important pitching categories, but what may have gone unnoticed was the dominance of Dane De La Rosa.

The 30-year-old right-hander was one of the few bright spots on the pitching staff last season as he was arguably the Halos’ best arm out of the bullpen. He made 75 appearances where he had a 6-1 record with a 2.86 ERA, 65 strikeouts, 1.16 WHIP, 20 holds and two saves in 72.1 innings pitched.  His solid year included three months of below 1.00 ERA, in which he finished the final two months of the regular season with an impressive 0.41 ERA with a 2-0 record , 19 strikeouts, 1o holds, two saves and just 11 hits allowed in 22.o innings pitched.

De La Rosa did have his fair share of struggles early on in the season, as he had 5.54 ERA in May and 6.08 ERA in July, but as the year progressed he improved on the mound and became one of the go-to arms in the bullpen. His early struggles in the season could be explained by his lack of experience in the league, as he only pitched in a total of 12.1 innings where he had a 11.16 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 and 2012 combined.

With some experience in the majors now under his belt, De La Rosa will head into next season with confidence. Along with De La Rosa, the Halos added bullpen help with the additions of Joe Smith, Fernando Salas and the potential return of Sean Burnett, who missed the  majority of last season due to bothersome throwing elbow issues that eventually required season-ending surgery.

So with what appears to be an upgraded bullpen going into this upcoming season, the Halos will have an improved pitching staff that is looking  to help the Angels reclaim their first AL West division title since the 2009 season.

Bob Garcia is a sports writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @Bgarcia90. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.